Personal Observations from Lakeland

RjoynerI was only in Lakeland for a few hours and had to leave the meeting right after the ordination. I also try to keep in mind that “we see in part.” Even so, the following is a little more from a personal perspective about what is happening in Lakeland.

When I first heard about the outbreak in Lakeland, I felt that it was the beginning of something very significant and maybe the beginning of what we have been waiting for. When I first watched some of it on God-TV, I became even more excited. After being there for just a few minutes, I was even more so. This is a major impartation from God, and it will have significant consequences for what is about to unfold.

I wanted to go to the tent before many people did so I could get a feel for the place, but there were already thousands worshiping, praying, and fellowshipping there long before the meeting was to start. The place was charged with expectation. I saw many people I knew, and everyone I saw seemed more alive than the last time I’d seen them, even people from our own congregation at Heritage. I took a seat on the second row to kind of absorb the atmosphere. The quickening was so strong that I decided if nothing happened from the platform, it was well worth coming to just sit in that quickening atmosphere.

They came to get me to sit on the platform, and it was interesting how the anointing seemed different there. It was still good, but different. Even so, I enjoyed seeing Todd and a number of other friends I had not seen in awhile. When Todd came over and put his arm around me, it was a hug, but I also felt that I kind of needed to hold him up. He is under the kind of anointing that does stagger you and actually makes you feel drunk, which is why they thought the disciples on the Day of Pentecost were drunk with wine. Under this kind of anointing, I knew Todd might not be able to do some of the in-depth teaching and preaching he is capable of, but I don’t think that is really the purpose of Lakeland anyway.

Probably the greatest revival in church history was The Welsh Revival of 1904 – 1906, and there was no significant message that came out of it other than God moving and awakening His church, which it did around the world. The Azusa Street Revival was different—it was about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Even though the main theme of Lakeland seems to be the healing and miracles, I think it may actually be about something more, but more subtle.

In studying Azusa Street and the writings that came out of the early leaders of the Pentecostal Movement, I occasionally happened upon a remarkable belief that many of them had. They were convinced that what they had received was the true baptism in the Holy Spirit, but many were still looking for another baptism to come—the baptism of fire. As is typical of this type of thing, even with the baptism in the Holy Spirit before it came, there was not much definition given to what they thought the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire would be like. Many were expecting another element (the fire aspect) of the baptism, but I never read where any thought that they had received this aspect.

Of course, the theology of this is debatable, but I have expected a baptism of fire to come upon the church that would so consume the Laodicean lukewarmness that the church would be radically transformed by it. I have prophesied it in a number of ways which has been sown throughout my writings and messages, mostly as a great passion for the Lord. I saw that this passion for Jesus would be so contagious that anyone who got close to it would be infected, and once infected could never be cured! It was a fiery love for the Son of God that would come upon the church so that she would truly do everything she needed to do to be a worthy bride prepared for the coming King. This fire would also make His messengers like flames of fire burning with passion for His gospel and His purposes.

I know that Lakeland is mostly about healing and miracles, which are crucial aspects of the Lord’s ministry that are being reawakened in the church and imparted to many there. Even so, I felt fire when I was there. I am not yet saying this is it, but I think one thing that is being released there is at least a preparation for a coming baptism of fire upon the church. We may not be able to give the true definition of this until it has come. At the very least, those who come to Lakeland with an open heart will leave with a renewed fire in their heart for the Lord.

The Lakeland Revival has already become a major infusion of zeal for the Lord that is impacting a large part of the church in a very positive way. For too many years, almost every Christian leader was saying “the Lord is about to do something.” Now almost everyone I talk to is saying “the Lord is doing something!” Where there has been hope, it has jumped into faith and expectation, and where the Lord finds this He will do wonders.

Todd has an amazing depth, maturity, and wisdom for his age, but he is still young. He might say some things wrong occasionally and say or do things that are hard to understand. His tattoos are real hard for some people to take, but those tattoos seem to be the very thing that have attracted many, especially the emerging generation, to him and his message. I have heard numerous reports of people who have become almost addicted to watching the revival on God-TV because they were channel surfing and were so captivated by Todd’s appearance when that they could not stop watching. Then they started listening. Now they are on fire for God.

Even those who would never get a tattoo at least view him as a genuine person with no facades. My opinion of Todd for the years I have known him is that he is one of the most genuine people I have ever known, still untainted by religion, but one of the greatest lovers of God and His truth. He is also deeply compassionate, and is greatly touched by people’s infirmities, which is always the foundation of a true healing ministry. Todd is the real thing, and he has many very real people around him who are true friends of God.

As stated, that does not mean Todd could never stumble or make mistakes.  He could just like any of us. I think Todd is a lot like the Peter, who would either walk on water or drown trying. He will press the limits, and like Peter, be used for some of the greatest breakthroughs, but at times need a severe rebuke. People with that nature do make mistakes, but they are also the ones who do the greatest exploits, and it is obvious that the Lord really loves people like Peter. If Peter had not been there on the Day of Pentecost, there probably would not have been a harvest of three thousand souls, but maybe only twenty.

Todd has been sent to offend the religious spirit and to be an offense to the complacent, and thank the Lord it is working. Todd came to Concord, North Carolina last week to do a one night meeting. The arena was packed to overflowing with eight thousand people, and reports were that there were as many turned away as who got in. There was gridlock on Hwy 49 for over six miles. When the police drove up and down the road, telling people to go home because no more could get into the arena, crowds poured out of their cars just to worship on the side of the road. That sounds like true revival to me.

Usually your greatest strengths can also be your greatest weaknesses, and Todd is vulnerable. Everyone has blindsides, and though I appreciate Todd seeking covering from those he thinks can help him stay on track, no amount of human covering can keep us from making mistakes. It is also hard to be on stage every night for as long as he is and not occasionally say or do something wrong or foolish.

If Todd does something foolish, it will probably be in front of an international television audience. He has many critics that are waiting like packs of wolves to jump on anything they can. The more that power is released, the more vicious these attacks will become. We really need to discern between the voice of the true shepherds and the voice of the accuser of the brethren, who will use any inroad he can to get brethren to accuse other brethren. Historically, the most vicious of all attacks have come from threatened church leaders, especially the leaders of the previous move of God. This is a terrible tragedy that we really need to pray will get broken this time. 

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Altondor wrote:

Wed, September 19, 2018 @ 7:30 AM

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